Service culture

NAPA Names Two Ascensus Regional Vice Presidents to 2019 Top 100 Defined Contribution Wholesalers List

Jeff Simes and Matt Spicer, AIF®, PPC™ Recognized as Leading DC Wholesalers, as Voted on by Thousands of Retirement Plan Advisors

Dresher, PAAscensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—announced that two regional vice presidents, Jeff Simes and Matt Spicer, AIF®, PPC™, have been named to the sixth annual list of NAPA Top 100 Defined Contribution (DC) Wholesalers by the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA). This represents a second win for Spicer, who was previously named to the 2017 edition of the list. 

The finalists for this year’s list, which recognizes the top recordkeeping and Defined Contribution Investment Only (DCIO) external wholesalers, were selected by thousands of retirement plan advisors from a list of more than 600 wholesalers nominated by NAPA Firm Partner recordkeepers and DCIOs.

According to NAPA, the award winners—referred to as the “Wingmen” for consistently having the backs of their advisor clients—represent the top 7% of an estimated 1,400 recordkeeping and DCIO external wholesalers throughout the country.

“Being named among NAPA’s Top 100 DC wholesalers is a huge accomplishment and a well-deserved recognition of Jeff and Matt’s efforts to go above and beyond for our partners and their retirement plan clients,” said Jason Crane, head of retirement distribution at Ascensus. “Congratulations to them both from the whole Ascensus team. Their work is an excellent example of the value and expertise we strive to deliver to all those saving for their future retirement, and representative of the talent we have across the broader organization.”

The complete 2019 Top 100 DC Wholesalers list is available on NAPA Net and will be published in the fall issue of NAPA Net the Magazine.

 

About Ascensus

Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.


Ascensus Enhances Elite Advisor Program

Program Redesigned to Help Members Elevate Their Client Service Delivery

Dresher, PA—Ascensus—whose technology and expertise helps millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is pleased to announce that it has restructured its Elite Advisor program to offer strategic support that enables financial advisors to offer plan sponsor clients an even higher level of personalized service and to better grow their retirement practices.

The program was introduced nearly a decade ago, offering concierge-like services to financial advisors and third-party administrators (TPAs) with large numbers of mutual clients with Ascensus. Today’s Elite Advisor program has been remastered to offer members expanded service and client management resources. Its core goals are to enable Ascensus to develop deeper relationships with the firm’s most loyal advisors and their clients and to help these advisors scale their retirement plan business.

“Our relationships with leading advisors and TPAs have been built on trust, shared goals, and service excellence,” states Jason Crane, head of retirement sales at Ascensus. “The Elite Advisor program is designed to ensure we give these key partners the attention and dedication they deserve.”

Among other benefits, all Elite Advisors and their plan sponsor clients receive dedicated strategic account managers and personalized guidance from Ascensus’ team of ERISA attorneys. Ascensus’ strategic account managers each have several years of retirement industry experience in leadership or relationship management roles. They consult with the program’s members on a regular basis, discussing best practices or providing updates on new services and technology enhancements that can address client’s plan objectives. Strategic account managers also ensure that advisors are up-to-date on the health of their plans and that their clients are receiving the best possible support.

Advisors that achieve top-tier status also receive direct access to Ascensus’ executive team and an opportunity to participate in exclusive, invitation-only events, including the annual Elite Partner Experience.

“We’re committed to providing our Elite Advisor program members with the consultation, expertise, and service model that will best position them for success with their clients,” states Rick Irace, chief operating officer of retirement at Ascensus. “Our program rewards these top advisors not only for their loyalty to Ascensus, but also for their continued commitment to helping clients and their employees save for a more secure retirement.”

For more information on Ascensus’ Elite Advisor program, visit ascensus.com.

About Ascensus
Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.


Ascensus Receives Top Honors for Exceptional Support from Retirement Plan Clients and Advisors

Firm Receives Most “Best in Class” Awards in <$50MM Segments in PLANSPONSOR Defined Contribution (DC) Survey and Wins 2018 PLANADVISER Adviser Choice Award

Dresher, PA—Ascensus—whose technology and expertise helps millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is pleased to announce that it has received the most “Best in Class” Awards among all providers for the under $50 million plan segments in the 2018 PLANSPONSOR Magazine Defined Contribution (DC) Survey. Overall, the firm won a total of 45 awards across the under $5 million, $5 to $25 million, and $25 to $50 million plan segments. Ascensus was also announced as a winner of the 2018 PLANADVISER Adviser Choice Award for recordkeeping services.

For two decades, PLANSPONSOR’s annual DC Survey has been a significant retirement industry benchmark, measuring and evaluating 401(k) and other DC providers according to feedback from their own plan sponsor clients. Major providers are rated in the various client categories they serve, and benchmark information is collected for plan sponsors to gauge their plans against their peers.

Ascensus received the following “Best in Class” recognition from PLANSPONSOR:

  • 16 awards in the under $5 million Micro Market segment;
  • 16 awards in the $5 to $25 million Small Market segment; and
  • 13 awards in the $25 to $50 million Small-Mid Market segment.

The firm received “Best in Class” status across the three market segments listed above in every possible category for Plan Administration and Sponsor Service/Support. Ascensus’ participant call centers were also recognized with top honors across all of these segments, highlighting its service team’s exceptional expertise and ability to consult with employees on their savings plans.

Ascensus has also been named a winner in the recordkeeping category of the 2018 PLANADVISER Adviser Choice Awards. The Adviser Choice Awards recognize the firms that retirement specialist advisers favor most as indicated in PLANADVISER’s annual Retirement Plan Adviser Survey. Ascensus received top rankings in the following categories:

  • Best Overall Service, Micro Plans (under $5 million)
  • Value for Price
  • Fee Structure for Plan Sponsors
  • Fee Structure for Advisers

“We’re delighted to receive this recognition from our plan sponsor clients and advisor partners,” states Rick Irace, chief operating officer of Ascensus’ retirement division. “It validates the work that we do every day to enhance our services based on their feedback.”

“These phenomenal results and the industry recognition we’ve received further strengthen our commitment to delivering the technology and expertise that our clients and their employees need to plan for the future,” concludes Irace.

Ascensus will be honored as a 2018 PLANSPONSOR DC Survey Standout and 2018 Adviser Choice Award winner at the 2019 PLANSPONSOR/PLANADVISER Excellence in Retirement Awards on March 28, 2019.

About Ascensus
Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.


Ascensus Transitions More Than 15,000 State Farm SEP and SIMPLE IRA Plans to Its Platform

Firms Continue Strong Partnership of Offering Products to Help Individuals Save for Retirement

Dresher, PA—Ascensus—whose technology and expertise helps millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is pleased to announce that it has completed the transition of over 15,000 State Farm SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) and SIMPLE IRA (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees Individual Retirement Accounts) plans to its platform. The transitioned plans contain more than 45,000 IRA accounts.

Ascensus has partnered with State Farm for the past 15+ years to provide retirement solutions in the 401(k) marketplace. The solid relationship built by the two companies over time led State Farm to entrust Ascensus with its SEP and SIMPLE IRA plans. Ascensus’ technology and commitment to service also factored heavily into State Farm’s decision.

State Farm agents will continue to sell SEP and SIMPLE IRA plans, with all new business going to the Ascensus platform.

“First and foremost, it was an honor to be selected by State Farm to jointly service their small business clients given the strong commitment to quality for which the firm is known,” states Mike Narkoff, head of Ascensus’ institutional sales. “In addition, our open-architecture SEP and SIMPLE IRA platform has garnered quite a bit of interest over the last 18 months; we believe that partnering with State Farm to service both existing and new clients offers a glimpse into the platform’s potential for growth and success.”

“It goes without saying that transitioning more than 15,000 plans required tremendous effort from both State Farm and Ascensus,” notes Scott Hintz, assistant vice president, investment planning services at State Farm. “The fact that all of the plans were in place and ready to be serviced as scheduled following the transition is a testament to the skill and dedication of the people who made it happen.”

“State Farm is looking forward to continuing to work and grow with Ascensus as we seek to help more individuals prepare for a secure retirement,” concludes Hintz.

About Ascensus

Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.

About State Farm®

The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its nearly 19,000 agents and approximately 65,000 employees serve approximately 83 million policies and accounts – approximately 81 million auto, fire, life, health and commercial policies and approximately 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 36 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.


Ascensus Appoints New Regional Vice President

Todd Engman Joins Sales Team to Support Financial Advisors and Their Clients in the North Region

Dresher, PA—Ascensus—whose technology and expertise helps millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is pleased to announce the appointment of Todd Engman as regional vice president on the firm’s retirement plan sales team for the North region, covering Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

In this role, Engman will work with financial advisors, third-party administrators, and financial institutions—including institutional partners and DCIO (defined contribution investment only) sales representatives—to build and maintain Ascensus’ retirement plan distribution networks. He will report directly to Anthony Bologna, vice president of retirement sales at Ascensus.

Engman has more than 10 years of retirement industry experience in relationship management, business development, and sales. He most recently served as 401(k) regional sales director for Lincoln Financial Distributors and has also held positions at Ameriprise Financial and Baker Tilly Investment Advisors. Engman earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was recognized on NAPA’s Top 100 DC Industry Wholesalers list in 2017.

“Our financial advisors and their clients will benefit from Todd’s deep knowledge of retirement plans along with his strong strategy and communication skills,” said Jason Crane, head of retirement sales at Ascensus. “We’re fortunate to have him as part of our sales team in the North region.”

About Ascensus

Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.


Ascensus Joins the Symitar Vendor Integration Program (VIP)

VIP Will Enable Ascensus to Integrate with Episys to Help Clients Save Time and Reduce Risk

Dresher, PA—Ascensus, a technology-enabled solutions provider that helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future, today announced that it has joined the Symitar® Vendor Integration Program (VIP). Participation in the program will provide Ascensus with access to Symitar’s technical resources to enable IRAdirect express™ to integrate with Episys®—the leading data processing system in the United States in all asset ranges over $50M. The VIP is designed to help ensure that Symitar’s customers can easily deploy third-party products.

After the integration with Episys via SymXchange™, IRAdirect express will give Ascensus’ clients the ability to enter IRA transactions to their core processing system and IRAdirect in one easy step. They can post to both systems in real time, making IRA transactions easier and more efficient while helping to avoid common input errors.

IRAdirect express integrates with Episys via SymXchange™, a services-based programming interface that enables third-party vendors and credit unions to access the platform’s core data and business rules. The integrity of data is maintained throughout any data exchange, because access to business rules and data is managed through a service layer which governs these interactions.

“Ascensus is excited to join the Symitar VIP, as integrating will allow users to experience increased IRA processing accuracy while reducing their risk of non-compliance,” says Steve Christenson, Ascensus’ executive vice president of retirement and health services. “As a result, our clients will be able to spend less time on back-office administration and more time growing their businesses.”

The service is expected to be available on August 13, 2018.

Symitar’s VIP takes the customer out of the middle, providing vendors with direct access to Symitar’s technical resources and test systems. VIP inclusion is not an endorsement of the vendor’s product.

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future—retirement, education, and healthcare—through technology-enabled solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of asset managers, banks, credit unions, state governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports over 60,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 education savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.6 million IRAs and health savings accounts. As of March 31, 2018, Ascensus had over $187 billion in total assets under administration. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com.

View career opportunities at http://careers.ascensus.com/page/show/tpa and careers.ascensus.com or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.

About Symitar
Symitar®, a division of Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. (NASDAQ:JKHY), is a provider of integrated computer systems for credit unions of all sizes. Symitar has been selected as the primary technology partner by more than 800 credit unions, serving as a single source for integrated, enterprise-wide automation and as a single point of contact and support. Additional information about Symitar is available at www.symitar.com.

About Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.
Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.® (NASDAQ: JKHY) is a leading provider of technology solutions and payment processing services primarily for the financial services industry. Its solutions serve almost 10,600 customers nationwide, and are marketed and supported through three primary brands. Jack Henry Banking® supports banks ranging from community banks to multi-billion dollar institutions with information processing solutions. Symitar® is a leading provider of information processing solutions for credit unions of all sizes. ProfitStars® provides highly specialized products and services that enable financial institutions of every asset size and charter, and diverse corporate entities to mitigate and control risks, optimize revenue and growth opportunities, and contain costs. Additional information is available at www.jackhenry.com.


Ascensus Ranked a Top 5 Retirement Plan Provider

In a recent ​Cogent Reports annual study, Ascensus was ranked a top 5 retirement plan provider most likely to be considered by small to mid-sized business owners. “When asked to pinpoint the reasons why they’re likely to switch providers, Small-Mid plan sponsors cite issues with fees, choice of investments, and participant service most often. Yet the factors that these plan sponsors seek in a new plan provider include the more personal aspects of trustworthiness (being a company plan sponsors trust), acting in the best interest of participants, and a perception of being easy to do business with,” the report indicated.


Dan Kravitz Discusses Strategic Plan Terminations

In a recent article published by ​PLANSPONSOR, Dan Kravitz, president of Kravitz, Inc., and Chris Pitman, an expert plan termination consultant with the firm,​ ​​​​​​define the concept of strategic plan termination—what the pros and cons are, and what an employer’s responsibilities entail under IRS and PBGC regulations. “If an employer has the right goals and follows the right process​, strategic plan terminations can be a win-win for the company and for employees,​”​ said the pair.


Chard Snyder Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Open House

Visitors Tour New Corporate Headquarters in Mason

Mason, OH—Chard Snyder, a third-party administrator of employee benefit solutions and wholly owned subsidiary of technology-enabled retirement, education, and healthcare solutions provider Ascensus, today celebrates the company’s 30th anniversary during an Open House at their new corporate headquarters. The recently opened facility is located at 6867 Cintas Boulevard in the City of Mason.

The Open House will take place June 28 from 3-7 p.m. ET for Chard Snyder’s advisors, clients, vendors, and business partners to thank them for their support over the last 30 years. Guests will enjoy food, music, time with their Chard Snyder partners, and brief tours of the new facility.

“Our new headquarters marks a transition to the next era for Chard Snyder,” said Joy Snyder, Chard Snyder’s president and co-founder. “It is a sign of our stability and growth, and shows our clients, partners, and the community that we continue to evolve while staying true to our values.”

First announced in February 2017, construction on the new two-story, 53,000-square-foot facility began in May 2017. Chard Snyder, which was recently ranked in the top 25 Largest Greater Cincinnati Employee Benefit Providers list by the Cincinnati Business Courier, outgrew its previous four-building campus just two miles away in Deerfield Township. When further expansion in that location was not possible, the decision was made to build the new headquarters in the I-71 Innovation Corridor in Mason. The state-of-the-art facility provides employees with great amenities, including an open work environment, collaboration spaces, a full kitchen and café, outdoor walking path, and individual wellness rooms.

“The new location provides our partners with easy access to our facility and allows us to be part of a growing local service and technology hub,” Snyder said. “Our team is finally together under one roof, increasing opportunities for growth and collaboration. We’re thankful for our first 30 years of business and excited about the future.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on May 24 to officially open the new building. City of Mason dignitaries, representatives from Al. Neyer construction and Chard Snyder executive team members cut the ribbon. Many of Chard Snyder’s 170 employees were on hand for the celebration.

About Chard Snyder

Chard Snyder provides employee benefit solutions to more than 1,400 employers in 40 states across the U.S. Chard Snyder administers savings and spending accounts (FSA, HSA, HRA, transit & parking), benefit continuation services (COBRA; retiree, direct and other billing) and FMLA leave, and provides plan document services. Founded in 1988 by Ken Chard and Joy Snyder, the company employs 170 team members today. Chard Snyder is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ascensus and the anchor of its new Health division. Visit www.chard-snyder.com or call 800.982.7715 to learn more.

About Ascensus

Ascensus helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future—retirement, education, and healthcare—through technology-enabled solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of asset managers, banks, credit unions, state governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports over 60,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 education savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.6 million IRAs and health savings accounts. As of March 31, 2018, Ascensus had over $187 billion in total assets under administration. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com.

View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com and http://www.chard-snyder.com/about/careers/ or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.


Jim Racine Discusses Value of TPAs

In a recent article publish by Wealth Management, VP Jim Racine discusses the value of TPAs and how they make employers’ lives easier. He also explains how fast the retirement industry is evolving: “Regional and national TPAs are growing by acquisition, with Ascensus seeing up to five acquisitions reported of each month from as many as four firms doing acquisitions,” adds Racine. ​​